Last Updated: January 2017
If you’re a fan of French press coffee, then you might already know that the quality and consistency of your coffee grind has a huge influence on the way your cup tastes. Choosing the best coffee grinder for French press in 2017 does not have to be a daunting task as long as you know what you’re looking for. Below is a guide that will help you discover the absolute best grinder for French press, whether you prefer an inexpensive hand grinder or a luxurious electric model.
Table of contents
What is French Press?
French press is a technique that was introduced back in the 1920s and has since then grown in popularity. It utilizes a handheld device known as a French press which is nothing more than a glass cylinder with a plunger inside. In short, the idea is to combine the coffee and the water in the cylinder without the use of a paper filter; the mesh plunger will force the grinds to the bottom of the cylinder and hold them in place as you pour. The process produces a cup of coffee that is silty with a dark flavor and an oily body, and it is preferred among individuals who enjoy a strong brew.
Note: French Press is also commonly referred to as a cafetière, сafetière à piston, Cafeteria, press pot, coffee press, or coffee plunger. It is a device that was developed & patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929.
When compared to automatic drip brews, remember that the paper filter does much more than simply keep the grounds from entering the brewed coffee. It also traps many of the oils that give the coffee its flavor, essentially diluting it. What’s more, in an automatic brew machine, it takes quite a bit of time for the grounds to become fully steeped and saturated. This results in a cup of coffee that is not as strong as intended.
Best Coffee Grinder for French Press 2016 & 2017
Below you will find the best coffee grinders for French Press Coffee and we continue to update this page on a monthly basis, including our top recommendations which you will find below.
*5 Star Rating: this is based on the percentage of consumers who rate the coffee grinder 10/10.
The Best Beans and Grounds for French Pressed Coffee
If you’ve decided to give French press coffee a shot, you’re going to need three things:
- A full-bodied, oily coffee bean;
- A French press or press pot; and
- A grinder that produces a course grind without fine particulates.
When it comes to making coffee with a French press, you’ll need coarse coffee grinds. The plunger inside the press itself contains a mesh screen designed to hold the grinds at the bottom of the cylinder. If the grinds are too fine, they will force their way through the mesh and result in a cup of coffee with noticeable particulates, and nobody enjoys drinking coffee with floating grinds. What’s more, a coarser grind ensures that the coffee bean is exposed to the water in the right ratio. Too fine of a grind for French press can result in a bitter cup of joe. Finding the best grinder for French press to produce just the right consistency can be tricky if you do not know exactly what to look for.
Features to Look for when Choosing the Best Coffee Grinders for French Press
There are several things to keep in mind when searching for the absolute best grinder for French press coffee.
Consistency – The number one most important feature in the best grinder French press is consistency. If you do not have a consistent grind from one bit of coffee to the next, you will not be able to produce a perfect cup of coffee.
Cleanliness – The best coffee bean grinder for French press is also one that expels the majority of the grinds rather than retaining them. When grinds are left behind from one batch to the next, it can have a significant impact on the coffee’s flavor. Make sure the grinder you choose not only expels the majority of the grinds on its own, but that it is also easy to clean after each use.
Static – Static electricity is a common concern among electric coffee grinders. You will want to look for a model that produces the least amount of static possible. What’s more, you can also look into the best hand coffee grinder for French press; a course manual grind works just as well in many cases, and it tends to produce far less static than its electric counterparts.
Grind Settings – Finally, it is important to make certain that the grinds your machine produces are the right size for French press. To simplify things, on a scale of one to 10 with one being the finest and 10 being the coarsest, French press would be a seven on that scale. Remember that all machines are different, though, and it may take some time, trial, and error before you discover the right settings.
Another major thing to think about before deciding on the best grinder for French press coffee is the actual price of the various machines. The best hand grinder for French press generally costs under $50. If you want an electric machine, you can choose from blades or burrs. Blades tend to produce an uneven grind, so you want to make sure that you look for the best burr grinder for French press. Burrs tend to cost a bit more than blades, but you can find electric grinders at a variety of price points – from just over $100 to more than $500, depending on the features you want, the quality of materials and workmanship, and the technology the machine includes.
Making a Great Cup of French Press Coffee in 2017
A great cup of French press coffee requires more than a great bean, the perfect grind, and the right press; it also requires the right technique. If you have a three-cup French press machine, you will need two to three tablespoons of coffee and about 275ml of water, plus a little extra for rinsing your press before you add your coffee. Before brewing, clean your press thoroughly, and never grind your beans until just before you plan to make your coffee.
Step 1 Bring the water to a boil, turn it off, and let it sit for 30 seconds.
Step 2 Fill the press half-full of water and press the plunger all the way down. Swirl the water around, pull up the plunger, and remove the lid. Then, discard this “rinse” water.
Step 3 With the plunger and lid removed, pour your freshly-ground coffee into the bottom of the French press.
Step 4 Pour half of the hot water evenly over the grounds. This is called “blooming” the coffee. Start your timer as soon as you’ve finished pouring, and then wait 30 seconds.
Step 5 At the end of the 30 seconds, stir the coffee for five seconds to mix the grounds and water evenly.
Step 6 Pour the rest of the water over the coffee, and place the lid on the press with the plunger pulled all the way up. Wait until your timer shows that four minutes have elapsed.
Step 7 At the end of the four minutes, slowly press the plunger all the way down to remove the grounds from the coffee. As soon as the plunger hits the bottom of the press, pour the coffee into your mug. Leaving it inside the press for longer than a few seconds will cause it to turn bitter.
Our Top Picks
Now that you understand what it takes to produce the perfect cup of French press coffee, you can better consider the different products out there and why they may make a better cup of coffee than their competitors. Below, you can find our best coffee grinder for French press review.
Best Hand Grinder for French Press in 2017
For an affordable, compact and durable manual coffee grinder then we would like to suggest that you have a look at our very own manual coffee grinder, our first coffee product!
With years of experience in the coffee industry, we know what makes a good cup of joe and having tested our own product over many, many months we completely guarantee that you will absolutely love it!
- The grinder has a built-in adjustable selector allowing you to make French press, Aeropress, Turkish coffee, and more with ease.
- The small grinder is perfect for travel; it allows you to make your own fresh coffee while camping or even in a hotel room.
- The product is 90% quieter than comparable electric grinders.
- In quality studies, the three ceramic conical burrs stayed sharp five times longer than their stainless steel counterparts.
The feedback we have received to date has been fantastic, they’ve mentioned that our grinder produces a consistent grind and is very easy to clean.
- Design – This grinder was designed to be small and lightweight, and the small window in the hopper that allows you to see your grind is a nice touch.
- Performance – Although this particular model is a little tougher to crank than our top pick, it does seem to provide the same consistency, which is necessary for French press.
- Durability – The three ceramic conical burrs mean that this handheld grinder will remain sharp for years to come.
- Price – At less than $20, this grinder is a great choice for use at home or on the go.
#1 – The Hario Skerton
The Hario Skerton coffee grinder takes the #3 spot on this list for its unique and easy-to-use design at a very affordable price point. It provides the perfect grind each and every time, and it is one of the easiest coffee grinders to clean after every use.
- Very small, very lightweight, and perfectly portable to take with you almost anywhere
- Easy to use and clean
- Provides a professional grind time and time again
- A great grinder for the beginning coffee enthusiast
The Bottom Line
- Design – Consumers rave about this product’s aesthetic appeal, and they appreciate the 100-gram storage capacity, as well. Those who prefer to grind more coffee at once love the fact that the grinder screws onto a normal-sized mason jar, as well.
- Performance – Despite its small size, the machine is easy to crank and produces a phenomenal grind.
- Durability – Many reviewers came back after a few months of use to note that their grinders were still performing as they did when they were brand new.
- Price – Coming in at under $40, this is an incredibly versatile grinder that will make the perfect addition to any kitchen, but it is also excellent for camping and travel.
#2 – The Hario Mini Slim Coffee Grinder
For those who do not want to spend a lot of money on their first coffee grinder but who want to experience all of the great taste that comes from hand-grinding your beans, the Hario Mini Slim Coffee Grinder is a great choice. It is very small, lightweight, and compact, so it won’t take up much room in your kitchen. What’s more, it is easy to clean, and it does not retain grounds in the grinding chamber.
- Ceramic mill maintains its sharpness for much longer than stainless steel
- Handle is removable for storage
- Space-saving and ergonomic design
- Incredibly simple to use
The Bottom Line
- Design – This is the smallest hand grinder on our list, yet it still packs enough punch to give you the perfect grind. Consumers love the fact that they can store it without the handle, claiming that it fits nicely into their drawers.
- Performance – This little grinder comes with several settings for obtaining the perfect grind, and most consumers stated that the perfect French press grind came between nine and 13 clicks from the finest setting.
- Durability – Many of the people who took the time to review this product followed up several months after their purchase and said their grinders were still working perfectly.
- Price – Coming in at under $25, this grinder is a true gem for beginners or for coffee connoisseurs who want a grinder for travel.
The Porlex JP-30 Review
November 2016 update, this item has now been removed from our recommendation list since the product has significantly increased its price to a point which it now can no longer be recommended.
Hand grinders are the least expensive grinders out there, and some can produce surprisingly great results. Our top pick is the Porlex JP-30 stainless steel coffee grinder.
- This hand-held manual grinder contains a ceramic conical burr for long-lasting sharpness and durability.
- At 7.5 inches tall and 1.85 inches in diameter, it fits nicely in a kitchen drawer.
- The stainless steel body is sleek and static-free.
- Users can adjust the coarseness of the grind by adjusting a small nut at the bottom.
This product receives rave review from buyers. Overall, these reviews tout the grinder as lightweight, compact, and capable of producing any grind imaginable, whether you want to pull the best shot of espresso or make a steaming hot cup of strong French press. Many reviewers tried a variety of large and/or oily beans and found that they all seem to feed well.
The Bottom Line
- Design – The Porlex JP-30 offers a sleek metal finish and fits comfortably in your hand. Minimal force is required to grind the beans, even on finer settings.
- Performance – Out of more than a dozen different handheld grinders, this one produced the best grounds for French press with the most consistency.
- Durability – Thanks to the ceramic conical burrs, you can expect this grinder to last for years on end without dulling.
- Price – At less than $50, we feel that this grinder is an excellent value for your money.
Best Burr Grinder for French Press in 2017
A conical burr grinder is usually your best option when it comes to brewing a great cup of French press coffee, and there are many electric models out there from which you can choose. These come in at many different price points, and the more expensive the machine, the more features it contains. Here, we’ve gathered up our list of the best burr grinders for French press coffee based on consumer reviews.
#1 – The Baratza Virtuoso
The Baratza Virtuoso comes in at the middle in terms of price, but it produces consistent grinds better than machines
that cost twice as much. Although it is short on features and technology, there is no denying that the Virtuoso’s grinds are absolutely perfect.
- This machine contains 40mm conical burrs that provide complete uniformity in particle size.
- The motor is specifically designed to keep your beans cool, which adds to the consistency of the grind size. What’s more, a cooler motor results in less static.
- The front-mounted pulse button gives the user control over the size of the grind, and a 60-second timer is also available so that you can walk away.
- Despite its relatively low price, the Virtuoso offers a sculptured metal top and base that looks nice on your kitchen counter.
Coffee connoisseurs generally go for the electric grinders that pull out all of the stops in terms of features, but those who want to make the best cups of French press coffee know that it doesn’t get any better than the Baratza Virtuoso. Despite its simple design and lack of features, it produces a consistent grind that is the key behind a great cup of French press.
The Bottom Line
- Design – The Virtuoso was designed with simplicity in mind, but that doesn’t stop it from giving you a great cup of coffee. It looks nice in your kitchen, and it makes some of the best coffee you’ll ever have.
- Performance – In terms of consistency, it doesn’t get any better than the Virtuoso. It produces a consistent grind every time without the fine particulates that other machines tend to produce.
- Durability – Although the Virtuoso contains plastic components and metal burrs instead of ceramic, consumers who review it claim that it continues to produce amazing grinds year after year.
- Price – At less than $300, this machine produces grinds that rival even the most expensive machines, but does so without all of the features so that it can fit your budget.
#2 – Rancilio Rocky
The Rancilio Rocky is our runner up choice for the best burr coffee grinder for French press. It is a little more expensive than the Baratza Virtuoso, but it does offer up some nice features that the Virtuoso does not.
- The Rocky contains 50mm conical steel burrs.
- The grinder adjustment is simple and easy to use.
- Unlike the Virtuoso, the Rocky gives you the ability to grind directly into a porta-filter for simple operation and transfer.
- The machine is powerful, but it is quiet when compared to other similarly-powered machines.
- Rancilio tests every single machine with real coffee beans before sale, guaranteeing the perfect product.
Although the Rancilio Rocky costs a little more than the Baratza Virtuoso, it has a more modern design and comes with a porta-filter for easy grind collection. According to reviewers, the Rancilio Rocky is “built like a tank” and does not feel flimsy at all. Reviewers also rate this machine highly when it comes to releasing the leftover grounds from the chute; a quick “tap” on the side releases the grinds for freshness.
The Bottom Line
- Design – The squared-off design of the Rancilio Rocky makes it appear modern and sleek. The tinted hopper and chute add to the aesthetic appeal.
- Performance – The Rocky is a top performer for a variety of coffee types, whether you prefer French press, espresso, or even Turkish coffee.
- Durability – Nearly every buyer who reviews the Rancilio Rocky notes that it is well built. Although it is heavy and has a larger footprint than many other electric grinders with similar capacity, buyers get years of use out of the Rocky.
- Price – The Rancilio Rocky has a middle-of-the-road price point at between $300 and $400, but thanks to its durability and performance, it is a true investment for great coffee.
In your search for the best French press grinder out there, be sure to keep things such as ease of use and durability in mind, but remember that a consistent coarse grind without many fine particulates is the key to a great cup of coffee in a French press. Manual grinders cost significantly less than their electric counterparts, but the electric grinders offer up unbeatable convenience.